Liam interviews Ashlee, a successful property investor who has built a high cash-flowing property portfolio of serviced accommodation units, making over £100,000 per year. Ashlee shares his journey from being a biology teacher to transitioning into property investing. He discusses his challenges, the importance of relationships in the property business, and the strategies he used to overcome obstacles. Ashlee emphasises the significance of perseverance and taking the next step in the right direction. He also provides insights into furnishing properties, targeting different markets, and outsourcing tasks to streamline his business operations.



“I love property because the fact is it can enable you to amass generational wealth in time.”

“When someone says no, it’s not the end of the conversation, it’s the beginning of the negotiation.”

“Don’t stand the fence, take that step in the right direction and you never know where you might end up.” –

“Income follows assets. It’s not about working hard. It’s about working smart and getting your money working for you.”

“The more no’s you get, the closer you are to a yes.”


You got your first deal. How was it getting that first deal? And how did you get that deal?

The first deal was direct to landlords, and that was after we had a run about three or four deals which sort of fell through the last herd.

Do you remember? Was there an actual moment or a day where you sort of snapped and you were like, right? I’ve had enough. I’m gonna do something else.

There was a point where I was working extremely hard again, and it got to a point where I was doing all the work, but I believe that the people who I was working for didn’t really appreciate the time and effort that I put into it. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t really the right way to be sort of going for myself. So that was sort of the breaking point, and then that sort of started getting me walking towards a different avenue. I had, like, some good feedback. So just a case of rinse, repeat, learn from the last thing, and let’s get on to the next train sort of thing. We don’t know how long it’s going to take for people to get their first deal. Some people get a deal in the first week, yeah, of being mentored. Some people it takes a year. Some people it takes five, six or seven months. What is it about property that you love, and is there anything about property that you don’t love? What would an extra 100,000 pounds a year do for you right now, on a business that takes up just a few hours a week. Well, that’s exactly what we are going to be talking about today. I am here in the studio with one of my great graduates, Ashley, who, over the last four years, has built a high cash flowing property portfolio of serviced accommodation units making over 100,000 pounds per year. So Ashley, welcome into the studio. Thank you for having me. It’s great to have you here. Four years has gone so so so quick and a lot has taken place. Could you take us back to where you was at before you met me? What were you doing? What was your career? What were your goals and aspirations? What did life look like before becoming a property investor, right? So if I sort of go back to then, probably four years ago, I was, well, I thought I had the dream job. So I was a head of biology in a secondary school, and I thought I’d pretty much made it, did all the things which you’re meant to do, like go through the education and like higher education, go back and do like part that part of a Masters has become a become a teacher of biology. And I was, I was doing that, and I was realizing that perhaps this isn’t always cracked up to be. I can kind of see, like what some of my some of my peers, were doing with, you know, they got the situation where they, you know, they’re living the life of what is meant to be, and they’re kind of struggling from day to day in terms of the time with their family. And I thought to myself, at the moment, I’m working around about 7070, hours, you know, a week. And I was thinking, if I was to carry on doing this for another 10 years or 20 years until got to retirement, am I really going to be the happy Ashley that I wanted to be in? I was thinking, perhaps this isn’t the case. So I was looking for avenues of what I can do to either make a little extra money or totally changed.

How many years did it take you to study to be a biology teacher?

In total, it has been around about five years in total. In education took a few few points out. So when I was a PT for a little while, and then I decided to go back to university and become a teacher
and and, you know, teachers today, what’s the average salary of a teacher? So depends on what sort of subject you you start on. But as a secondary school teacher, you’re sort of starting around about the 2627
mark. Okay, so it’s a lot of time, isn’t it, to study for, you know, pretty much the average salary in the UK, and what impact was this having on you as a person, you know, time with family, the way you felt about yourself, what was going on? Well, it kind of felt, made me feel that’s kind of kidding myself in one way, because at one point I thought, yeah, I’ve made it. And I sort of revered as a case of being head of biology. That’s kind of what I wanted to do. But when it came to, like the weekends, I was pretty much working flat out to make sure I was ready for the next week. And obviously I’m the kind of person who wants to do well. So therefore, I did put in those extra hours in evenings and weekends to make sure my team, which were under me, could have the resources they needed, and also when I was delivering the lessons that my pupils couldn’t get the most value as possible. So it kind of left like a sour taste. Least that. Look, I’m spending all this time preparing for this, but then my family didn’t get, like, the actual quality time that I wanted, and I was seeing some at a time, and the quality timer we were having was kind of, like ad hoc and, you know, and sometimes I’ll be thinking about, you know, we got, you know, year elevens or six formers, which are getting ready through their do their their GCSEs or a levels, and I need to prepare for them. And it was kind of like a bit of a bit of a fight between which one would actually sort of win. So yeah, that’s where we were.

Can you remember, was there an actual moment or a day where you sort of snapped and you were like, right? I’ve had enough. I’m gonna do something else. Was there a situation at all?
Yeah, I’d say there was. There was a point where I was working extremely hard again, and I got to a point where I was doing all the work, but I believe that the people who I was working for didn’t really appreciate the time and effort that I put into it. So I remember at one point I actually took a lot of my extra textbooks and my laptop away on holiday during during the six weeks holiday to prepare for the next academic year. And after I did so, and then I had some people saying that perhaps this wasn’t good enough. I was thinking, Well, I’m pretty sure that this isn’t really the right way to be sort of going for myself. So that was sort of the breaking point. And then that sort of started and started getting me walking towards a different avenue. And then I sort of saw your your stuff, and I had to count to Karen senior stuff for over a number of years, I thought, You know what? Maybe it’s time for me to take this chance. And I know I know myself, everything I’ve tempted in my life that I’ve done pretty well in. So therefore, let’s give a go. What’s the worst that can happen? I learn a new skill, and maybe it becomes something I do on the sidelines. But, you know, let’s give it a go.

Yeah, great. Good. So, so fast forward, you came to one of our events. You would have come to the advanced training, probably serviced accommodation, boot camp. You would have worked closely with my great business partner, Ross maliu And Rebecca, and we would have started to mentor you and helping you become a relocation agent. And I’m sure you went through the, you know, your business cards and setting up the company and everything like that. You got your first deal. How was it getting that first deal? And how did you get that deal? Was it from an agent? Was it landlord? How did that come about?

So the first deal was direct to landlord, and that was after we had a run about three or four deals which sort of fell through the last hurdles.

How did that feel like, feeling not getting those deals over the line?

I tell you what I felt properly. to the I was not gonna lie. But I knew that I had done X, Y and Z. I knew I was doing the right things. I had had like some good feedback from Rebecca. So just a case of rinse, repeat, learn from the last last thing, and let’s get on to the next train sort of thing. So we did that, got to the point where we I was doing the last viewing to check that all the inventory and things of that nature, and sign the contracts. And I remember, sign the contracts, and I was speaking to the landlord, and I saying, Yeah, you know, we’ve taken a couple of units on in this area before, and you know, you know, we look forward to working for you for many, many years from now, like acting like I’ve done this many, many times before. But I thought I knew in my in my heart, that whatever I say, I’m going to do, so yeah, I didn’t feel uncomfortable by saying that to the landlord. So, you know, landlord was very, very happy. I was ecstatic from that point. And I remember walking, walking back to my car, but I was walking next to the landlord, so I kind of had to, like, act like, No, this is not the best thing since last bread. It started me, and there’s another day in work, sort of thing. And I got my car, first of ideas. I just rang my mum and told me you finally did it sort of thing. Oh, wow, yeah. Well, but your mum was really proud. Yes, she
was, because she was the one of the ones who saw me, like doing the phone calls every day, speaking to potential investors and not quite making it and and she was one of the ones who then, at one point after I spoke to an investor who was in Dubai, because I remember staying up quite late for the time difference, and he decided not to invest, which is totally fine. She then sort of said, You know what, Ashley, I’ve I’ve been seeing you working for, I think it might have been six, seven months at the time, and you know, you’ve been doing everything right. And I’ve been speaking to Nana, I reckon, I reckon me and Nana be able to invest in your business and and I remember the feeling, I was just like, you know, sometimes you don’t know where things are going to come from. You do what you’re meant to be doing, and you carry on getting the feedback, putting in the hours, and you don’t know where. Uh, where things going to come from. So when that came I was like, right? I’m not gonna I’m not gonna disappoint you. I’m gonna make sure I make you proud. That was kind of what how I sort of felt like anyway, but just having there really, that really emphasized it and gave you even more of a drive to make this a reality. Yeah, and I love the fact that you know it did, you know we don’t know how long it’s going to take for people to get their first deal. Some people get a deal in the first week of being mentored. Some people it takes a year. Some people it takes, you know, five, six or seven months. The most important thing is not to leave before the miracle takes place. And everything worth having in life is worth fighting for. And sometimes it can feel like a fight when you are becoming a new property investor, but it’s like learning how to be a teacher, learning how to be a doctor, learning how to be a dentist, learning how to be a nurse. In those early days are always quite difficult because you are rediscovering yourself. You’re having to do things that you’re not used to doing, making phone calls to agents, putting in offers, being rejected and being an entrepreneur is not always an easy thing. It can feel like a lonely place from time to time, but that’s why you have mentors and you’re in guidance. So great. So your mum then that became an investor, right? Yes, you did. Yeah. Wow, incredible. So became an investor, got your first deal up and running, and then let’s give some tips and tricks on how to furnish a property. Oh, yeah. So, so what happened with the furnishing? Where do you get that from? What’s the budget? How does it work, right? So, originally, I’d like to budget between four and four and six, maybe seven grand to to furnish a two bed apartment depend on what sort of, what sort if you’re going to go high end or something like that nature. But I remember the first one after we we’d put a deposit and got it, got the keys. I was about three grand short, so I thought, well, if I’m three grand short, we need to still get this over a line. So I sort of decided that we’re going to make it happen no matter what. So I looked on Facebook marketplace for for deals on the on the sofa, sofa beds. I then looked on neighbors app, and I was able to find what would have been a table would have been about 200 maybe 600 quid, like solid oak table, the person wanted it wants to get rid of it for 55 quid. And the tables and the chairs were a bit iffy, but I said, I can fix that. So we put some colors on our chairs. Got the sofa for 250 quid, and that was sofa which is worth of 800 quid. And then I went to B and M and found a lot of the other furniture, a lot, lot lower price in my life I thought was going to pay for it. And then we got it, got it over a line, wow. Brilliant, brilliant.

You got it in under budget, yeah. Made it happen. And then your properties, who is your target audience? Who’s the market? Are you going for contractors? Is it holiday makers? What is it you typically target?
Typically it’s going to be contractors and professors. Going to be an area. However, I don’t like to just have, like, one avenue to get our clients or, I guess, so we do have a mix of holiday makers that come into the area where we have our properties because of where we have our properties there. They’re quite easily commutable distance to like London and some of the the major tractions in London. So therefore, we do have a good mix of of contractors, professionals, and also the holiday makers.

Right? A lot of people say that managing properties or running serviced accommodation can take hours and hours and hours and hours. What are some of the things that you’ve done in your serviced accommodation business to outsource, leverage, streamline. I take it you’re not checking people in and checking people out. And I take it you’re also not doing the cleaning. So what are some of the things that you do in your business now, you know, it’s making over 100,000 pounds a year, give or take. Yeah, it’s pretty systemized from what you’ve told me. How do you make that work?

So from the get go, I decided to get some assistance with a sa management company. So from day one, as I knew I was going to still be teaching for right, am I going to be able to check and vet all these guests to the standard I want to? Am I going to be able to answer all the calls if they, for example, the baller stops working, or they can’t turn a TV on, or the Hoover stops working? Probably not. So from day one, I made sure I got that and I leveraged their knowledge and expertise. So you just paid a management company to manage the property. You pay them a fee. Do you still do that today? I still do that today. So great. So it’s pretty much a hands off business for you, which is incredible. So what do you do with your time? So how does life look today?

So a rest of time now. I. Um, I spend it on trying to work on the business, to improve it. We’re going to raise more finance or look for some new deals. And also, because it got to the point where I’d actually was about to step away from teaching, I remember saying to to lot of my friends, I’m hanging on the ball pen. We’re done now. Yeah, I was walking through, through the town center, and I bumped into a head of department in a different school, and he said, Ashley, so you know, what are you doing? You know, next year, you know, you still teaching? I said, No, mate, I hung out the ball pen. I’m good. Because what you know, do you fancy maybe coming to, you know, the school that I’m working at, maybe two days a week? I said, maybe if we do one or two, maybe I can manage that. But I’m quite busy, to be fair, because I decided I’ve totally done I’ve done my done my job. I’ve got to point where I didn’t really have to work in teaching anymore. But it turned out that actually me passing on some of the values and a lesson which I’ve learned from starting my own business, it’s been invaluable to the students, so I now do two days a week when I’m teaching, and the rest of time I’m working on the business. Yeah, wow. And obviously, look, you’re getting paid for going in for those two days, but you’re not doing it really for the money. You’re doing it to give back, yeah, something that you was always passionate about, but you lost the passion because you weren’t being paid in proportion to the value that you were bringing. Right? Yeah, which is, you know, madness for sure. What has been a challenge for you over these last four years? What was that challenge? And how did me and Ross and the team at assets for life help you overcome this?
Well, so I think though the the major challenge was getting the first property over a line. But when I was speaking to all the mentors, they said, well, actually you are, you are dooming to be doing it just just like you’re literally unlucky that some of these deals are going through your fingers. So you just need to basically carry on doing your doing, maybe get your offers in a bit quicker and make sure you follow up on them. And perhaps you might want to look at some different ways of of getting some properties, you know, maybe doing some advertisements and things of that nature. So they come to you rather you’re trying to go to them. So we did that, and we did get some properties exactly from from doing some some sort of advertising. So then the landlord actually came to me, originally trying to tout the same thing I was doing, but now and I told them what we were doing, they said, Yeah, exactly. Fantastic. You can definitely take my property. I understand the model, so yeah, and I’ve had that property for come on to the third year now. Wow, fantastic. So we talk a lot about property being about relationships, you know, using other people’s money, having great mentors, working with agents and landlords. How important are relationships for you in your business? And what’s been, of course, the mentorship, but in terms of maybe a particular landlord, or how do you treat your relationships, so you can really build on that relationship. And you know, if you had any breakthrough moments, you know, working with a particular landlord, yeah, so I can’t just make sure that however I’m talking to these landlords, or how am I treat these landlords is that they are like an extension of my friend or family, because I’m building a relationship with them. And then, you know, originally, may not know me, but then after the course of a couple of years, and so because I don’t believe we’re going to just have the the one hit wonder we’re going to be here for the long run. So I make sure when we bring on board, they fully understand not who I am and what I’m going to achieve, and hopefully that whatever they want, they want to achieve, we’re sort of having a bit of an alliance with those two sort of goals that we’re going to achieve, and when, when there might be a case of a sticking point where they may say, No, you know, it’s like, No. Was not always the last thing. It just may be a case of now this is a time for the negotiation to start. So you know, when that did happen, we was able to negotiate with the landlord to make sure that the insurance packages was basically a bespoke insurance package for his needs. So I went to my broker and spoke to them and said, This is what the landlord’s asking for come can we facilitate that? And they then brought out another insurance schedule which was able to facilitate what the landlord wanted. Great. So therefore we’re able to solve that problem. And then from that point, the landlord has been working at me, and he’s, he’s been able to pass on things about four or five landlords and one landlord, yeah, because he just happens to be a letting agent as well. So therefore he’s, he’s been able to pass to pass me some, some I was like, No, it’s not quite for me, but he keeps passing them on. And now, now from that, he said that in his portfolio, which is, I think, is around about 2020, properties, he wants to potentially give me the eight properties. To work with. So if you build a relationship and you look for the the actual, the actual icing on top, the long game, rather than the short game, then you can, you can, you can build some seriously good relationships and work for a long time. Well, you know, if that one landlord has been responsible for 50% of your property so far, and now he’s potentially going to give you another eight. Yeah, you can go from eight to 16 just through a series of conversations. So I think you’ve done an incredibly great job there. And it’s important whatever you do in business is, you know, treat people well, be honest, you know, go above and beyond, give the extra service, talk about things, even if some things aren’t going quite so well. Just be open and communicate. And you just never know what’s around the corner. You know, one opportunity, one property, one landlord, one investor, one moment, one phone call, one podcast. Yeah, can literally change everything for you. I think it’s great what you’re saying about, just stay on the path. Yeah, and whatever happens, don’t give up. What is it about property that you love? And is there anything about property that you don’t love, right?

I love property because the fact is it, it can enable you to to amass, like generational wealth, you know, in time, you know. And I like the fact that it’s not like a get a, get quick rich scheme. You are doing something which you and that you’re enabling people a place to stay, a place to call home, a place to help people from getting from A to B if they happen to have a problem in their home so they can’t no longer stay in there. Those are the things which I love our property. We are helping people in some way, shape or form. Some of the, some of the things I don’t really like is, you know, someone might get a call and they the one of our guests might have left the key and and our cleaners can’t get in. So now I’ve got to run down and get that sorted out. And like, you know, Dave, one of the one of the one that are the screens in the bathroom, the spontaneously shattered. I don’t know how that’s happened, but sometimes those sort of things happen, but it’s part and parcel, parcel of actually working in property. Great.
So what is next for Ashley? Where are you going in the next one or two years? How does life look? What are some of your goals, plans, vision, dreams. Yeah, what you doing? Man, so in the media, I’m looking to actually purchase one of our, one of our essays from direct from the landlord, because it was on a short lease. So we’re looking to see if we can do that for lease extension. Great. And then I would love to go, go on to doing some developments of some sort of some sort of maybe putting part of it as a normal bias to that, and then part there’s an essay, so we can sort of, you know, get some of that hard cash flow, and also with some stability in there as well. Great, awesome. And what does a day look like for you now? Because you’re now obviously other when, other than when you’re at school, teaching, which is only through choice, in two days a week, what do you do the rest of the time.

Normally, I’ve getting I’m getting up in the mornings relative earlies. I like to get up quite early, like around about five, 520 in the morning, and I will go straight into do some exercise. And after that, I go and look over my emails decide, you know, from from the yesterday’s to do’s what needs to get done today, and I normally journal as well now, and that’s been something I’ve been doing for about four years now, since we started the business. So I look on to do that, and also I help to to mentors and other people who come, who just happen to come to my way, if they want some help with whatever they’re doing, I will help them out. But potentially it is. You know, what’s quite good is that I can pretty much do whatever I want when I want, you know, and have the quality time with the friends and family when they need it. Wow. Fantastic.

You’ve got your life back, living life on your own terms. It’s only taken just eight properties for sure. Look, this is the deal maker podcast. What does being a deal maker mean to you?

It means when someone says, No, it’s not the end of the end of the the conversations, the beginning of the negotiation. So that’s what that means to me. So from all the points where I’ve gone from having zero properties to having the eight now is just making sure that when something doesn’t quite work out, there’s always a sort of a path which might be the one at least trod on, but you can maybe go onto that path to create what you need to create in life. Fantastic.

I love that. And for people tuning into this episode now that are perhaps on the fence, or they’ve done a few deals, or they’re not too sure what to do next, what final words of wisdom, encouragement, inspiration, would you like to share?

I would say that if they are any of what you mentioned, I’d say, don’t stand the fence. Take that step in the right direction, and you never know where you might end up. Wow.

I love that. Absolutely fantastic. And if people need to hook you up, actually. Are you on the social media platforms? How can people come and hook you up these ways to search my name, Ashley cave should come up. Ashley underscore cave on Instagram, and you’ll be able to finally, wow, brilliant. Well, it’s been an incredible four years. Let’s do another touch point. It may be a year from now and see where you’re at. I would just say to you, as I say to everyone, make sure you’re doing your managed accounts. Make sure you stay close to us. Make sure you’re looking at your numbers. Make sure you’re profitable. Keep scaling, but make sure you’re profitable. For sure, this is really important. And yeah, why not look to do your first development or go get a couple of single let properties or then convert them into essays. I think the next three or four years are going to be incredible for you. And the reality is, Ashley, you’ve put in the work, you’ve made, the investment, you’ve turned up for sessions. We’ve been there for you, but it’s a team effort. So a big well done. Really, really, really, really, awesome. Well, there we have it. You know, Ashley, a real deal maker, don’t take no for an answer. The more nos you get, the closer you are to a yes. Look eight property deals. What could this do for your life, making an extra 100,000 pounds a year? Could that pay off some bad debt at that point? Would you sack the boss? Reduce your hours, can you start saying yes to your children? Remember, this income follows assets. It’s not about working hard, it’s about working smart and getting your money working for you. I really hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode. If you can, please share this episode, leave me a comment below. Give me a fantastic review. It really, really does help the algorithm. I would love to get more people listening to the deal maker podcast, so we can have that ripple effect, and we can inspire ordinary people just like you and I to get into property, get into business, get into wealth and live the life that you truly deserve and desire. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

You’re listening to the deal maker podcast hosted by multi millionaire property investor, entrepreneur and Guinness World Record holder Liam Ryan. Discover How To Start, scale and grow your business, become a better negotiator, create more opportunity and make massive profit so you can live the life of your dreams.


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